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The Golden Mean/Ratio

You know sometimes when you look in the mirror, something just seems a little off with your outfit? There's a good chance it could be the proportions.

Coco Chanel once said: "Fashion is architecture, it's a question of proportions."

When I took my stylist training, I was introduced to what is referred to as the golden mean or ratio. Basically this principle states that a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio is most aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If you start to have this on your radar when getting dressed, you'll notice a dramatic improvement in the overall look of your outfits.

Here are some examples:

Top tucked into bottom (1/3 top and 2/3 bottom)

This works for any top tucked into any bottom. Now do you understand why a full or side-tuck are so popular? It automatically gives a longer, leaner appearance. This works particularly well for my body type as I am shorter in the leg and it helps give the illusion of more length in my bottom half. You could achieve similar proportions with a half tuck as well.

Layer over a midi or maxi length dress or jumpsuit (1/3 top and 2/3 bottom)

One way to achieve the golden ratio is to layer something shorter over something longer as done here:

Create the ratio using a belt (1/3 top and 2/3 bottom)

If you want to break up a maxi dress or longer one-piece, a belt can be a way to give this illusion. Note: if belts don't work well on your body type, a garment with some natural seaming or colour blocking can also do the trick (as illustrated in the navy jumpsuit below).

Some ideas for 2/3 on top and 1/3 on bottom:

If you are longer on your bottom half and shorter in the torso, you may opt for longer jackets, shackets or cardigans which give a 2/3 on top ratio. These can work well over skirts, dresses, jumpsuits and pants.

Sometimes a dress on its own (depending on its length) can serve as your 2/3 and your leg and/or footwear can be the remaining 1/3 illustrated in the photo below. Dropped waists also work very well to give a 2/3 top half for a shorter torso and this style of dress continues to trend this season.

Here is a little inspiration - maybe you have similar piece in your own wardrobe:

Something here catch your eye? All pieces are linked on my board here.

Start playing around with proportions in your outfits. A little tuck here or there, belting or layering can make a world of difference. Need help figuring out what works best for your body type? Let's chat!


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